Harry Petry
Created by Curt Allen

"Fast women, Hard Liquor. And a detective without a clue."
-- the tagline

"I am not a character out of a god damn book".
-- Harry gripes about his lot in life

The always reliable Robert Forster (Banyon, Jackie Brown, Karen Sisco) dishes out another solid performance, this time as Hollywood private eye HARRY PETRY in Hollywood Harry, a slight but affectionate 1985 parody of/tribute to old-fashioned romance, music, and especially detective films.

It's a typical wandering daughter job, and the hapless, disillusioned, semi-alcoholic Harry staggers down all the usual mean streets looking for a missing heiress on behalf of her father, a local big shot who may have an ulterior motive.

Forster also produced and directed, and got to act alongside his daughter, Katherine, fourteen at the time, who plays his estranged niece who wants to "help."

It all seems rather heartfelt and personal, but ultimately, this episodic little mess of a B-flick is disappointing. Forster is, as always, compelling to watch -- the man was born to play a P.I. And the downbeat, meandering not-quite-focussed plot does have its moments; sort of like a sporadically heard sax solo coming from somewhere around the corner in the middle of the night.

But it could have been so much more.


  • HOLLYWOOD HARRY.. Buy this on VHS
    (aka "Harry's Kingdom, Harry's Machine")

    (1985, USA)
    96 minutes
    Written by Curt Allen
    Directed by Robert Forster
    Music by Michael Lang
    Produced by Branimir Arandjelovich and Robert Forster
    Starring Robert Forster as HARRY PETRY
    and Kate Forster as Danielle Petry
    Also starring Joe Spinell, Shannon Wilcox, Peter Schrum, Redmond Gleeson, Frank X. Baleno, Leonard Bremen, Russell Cappellino, Suzanne Charney, Dallas Cole, Wynn Irwin, Mallie Jackson, Marji Martin, Read Morgan, Ronald Provenzano, Jacqueline Pulliam

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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